March 26, 2023

Ohanaeze sets agenda for S/East govs

Ohanaeze sets agenda for S/East govs

By Vincent Ujumadu

THE apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has set an agenda for the incoming and incumbent governors of the South East geopolitical zone, saying their first priority should be to reactivate the moribund South East Governors Forum.

In an interview with Vanguard, the vice president of the organization, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene described the governors forum as the panacea for the development of the region, arguing that as long as the governors allowed the forum to remain inactive, they must take responsibility for retarding the progress of the region.

He said: “I congratulate the newly elected governors and the old ones. My advice is that they should join hands to reactivate the South East Governors Forum and use it to work for the general good of the people.

“We were one state before the creation of the new ones and we still remain one united body. I want the South East governors to emulate other geopolitical zones in the country whose governors work for the unity of their people.

“Enugu should remain the rallying point for the zone as Ibadan and Kaduna are for their zones. Ohaneze Ndigbo still meets in Enugu and the governors should also be meeting there. The failure of the governors to meet regularly is not healthy for the South East.

” The fact that four political parties are currently controlling governments in the zone has even made it imperative for the governors to search for an enduring unity. Igbo people are republicans and that is why it is easy for the various political parties to have root in the zone and Ohaneze believes that the presence of different parties in government will fast track development in the zone because there will be healthy competition among them.”

Okeke-Ogene observed that the recent signing of some bills by President Muhammadu Buhari had somehow answered the clamour for the restructuring of the country which the South East was the most vocal voice.

According to him, the zone can now jointly generate electricity, build railway lines to connect their various states and set up joint economic committees that could attract the much -needed investment to the region.

“The new governors, with their colleagues who were there before them, should lay the foundation for bringing our people home naturally, than forcing them to return to South East like refugees.

” If they create the enabling environment, people from other zones and countries can come to invest in the South East”, he said.

He also spoke on the issue of security, arguing that it is not a must that the five states in the zone should have a common security outfit, adding ” they can have a coordinating body and develop a synergy which can make it possible for the states to pass security information to each other.”